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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2008, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Need Guppy help =(.

Okay, so I've been having serious guppy issues. Luckily I've been keeping notes as I do water changes and such, though I've seemed to lose interest in proper note keeping. So here's what I have, though the exact dates may be off.

I started my fish tank on 10/10/07. I bought 2 fish that passed away immediately, so I fixed my tank and bought 2 more. One passed away, and the other is still alive, whom I have named Yellow. Yes, I name my fish. The tank cycled quickly and I didn't have issues til recently.

The past couple months I've been losing fish left and right. On 5/4/08 I wrote that 2 of my guppies died "sometime last week". The two fish were Lyle and Sunshine. I bought Lyle on 11/4/07, and Sunshine on 12/15/07. Sunshine was showing dulled color and clamped fins, and was being picked on by his closest buddies which was odd. Lyle was very slightly bloated, but he was fat to begin with, and hung around the bottom. His buddy, Ruby, was trying to get him to swim up with the rest of them but Lyle wanted nothing to do with it and stayed under the log. He passed away that night. Then I lost Zaphod (bought 11/15/07) between 5/4 and 5/11, clamped fins, dull color, passed away a few days after symptoms showed up.

Now two more of my fish are ill. Yellow, whom I got on 10/11/07, has survived my stupidity, ignorance, and cycling - he is my ox. He's pineconing, swimming at a downward angle, is extremely bloated and not active. Then Ruby, the one who tried to "save" Lyle (bought on 2/20/08) has had white stringy feces for the past few days. Ruby is hiding right now so I can't tell you how he's doing exactly - other than the fact that he NEVER hides.

This made me go through and try to figure out where the problem started. It seems to have started with Blue (bought on 11/4/07, passed away on 2/19/08). Blue was so bloated he looked like a tadpole, and was pineconing. Then Red (bought on 10/19/07, "vanished" on 2/21/08) showed signs of clamped fins and lack of energy.

I had bought a few ghost shrimp right after my tank cycled, and they flourished. Within the week after Blue died all 40~50 of my ghost shrimp passed away. I suspect it's because they started eating Blue before I could remove him. I can't keep ghost shrimp alive in my tank any more so I have given up on them for the time being.

My water tested perfect. I have a 9 gallon biube, and I use Stability, Prime water conditioner, and Plant Gro every water change (tap water). My tank is fully planted. I asked my fish store expert for advice, but he seemed dumbfounded. He told me to start using Aqua-Flourish 3 times a week til it clears up, and that it might be an intestinal parasite that might've been caused because I use Windex on my desk, a foot away from my tank. I started using Aqua-Flourish on 5/11, and again today. I have 6 guppies left, and 2 are sick. I need help trying to figure out how to keep the 4 healthy ones healthy, and the 2 ill ones healthy again. I really don't want to have to "wait it out" and "restart" my tank after they all die =(. Does anyone know what this might be and how I can fix it? (P.s. sorry this is so long...)
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2008, 11:52 PM
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First of all, it's great that you take notes. That's a really nice habit to get into .

You haven't mentioned your current water parameters...when was the last time you had your water tested and what method did you use?

Parasites are definitely a possibility. I looked into Aqua Flourish, though, and it doesn't seem to be an actual parasite treatment. Actually, it looks more like over-priced vitamins in liquid form to me.

Unfortunately, it's impossible to give a diagnosis without using a microscope to identify the parasite in question. If you have a veterinarian in the area that treats fish, now would be a good time to call them.

You could also try using a general anti-parasite treatment. The problem is that some may harm your plants.

Are you sure that no parasites are visible? Eyes, gills, fins, etc. look normal? A protozoan (maybe Coccidia?) is a possibility.

Windex wouldn't have caused a parasite to randomly appear in your tank. That makes no sense to me. However, if some Windex got into the tank by mistake then that could cause serious problems (and would kill shrimp pretty fast). If you suspect that the Windex is the cause then I would change most, if not all, of the water. You can leave the plants and gravel in, just change the water itself.

Leaving your tank fishless will not cause the cycle to die immediately or anything as long as you leave the plants, gravel, and water in the tank. So if you end up with no fish then maybe give it a few weeks before you get new ones. Some parasites will die in this amount of time because they can't find hosts. You could also add some aquarium salt and raise the temperature in this time period to further combat any parasites.

The pineconing seems to suggest internal bacterial infections, though. Either you have a couple problems going on at once or it's a simple infection that just wasn't treated correctly. The first step in either case is to get your water tested and do some water changes.

Actually, I just realized that you didn't mention what you've tried as far as treatments go. Have you tried anything yet? It might be a pretty simple problem.

Also, keep in mind that the guppies themselves might not have been healthy to begin with. Pet store livebearers are very inbred and tend to be kept in pretty crowded conditions.

Good luck and keep us updated!!




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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I actually haven't tried anything. First when Blue died I thought he was constipated and it wasn't much to worry about. As for the shrimp, I figured it was a water quality problem because roughly in the same week or so Granny's shrimp had died (I had given her some of my shrimp). I didn't link Blue's death and the massacre of shrimp together until today.

Then within the past couple weeks a bunch of my fish died with pretty much the same symptoms as Blue and Red, so I decided it's time to take action. So I haven't tried anything yet. I pretty much suspected Auqa-Flourish is overpriced vitamins, but I figured it's worth a shot. And for the record I NEVER use Windex on my tank, only on my glass desk near my tank. The fish store guy said that another lady had the same problem, where a couple fish died every other month and they decided the culprit was floor polish which was used every other month. So he assumed the fumes from the windex was what caused an internal parasite in my fish. It sounded fishy to me =P. That's why I came here.

So no, I haven't tried anything yet. I'm scared to add chemicals or salt to my tank because of my plants, and I don't have a quarantine tank... but I do have a fish bowl and an air pump if that would suffice as a decent quarantine tank for a $3 fish that I'm trying to save =/.

Yellow has gotten even bigger since this afternoon and now he is definitely showing pine cone symptoms... his scales are clearly visible -- just like what happened with Blue. Ruby has just come out from hiding, let me take a look at him... very small, losing color, fins are tattered.

Also my temp stays at around 78 degrees. I took my water in last week to be tested for Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite (with the fancy liquid testing, not strips) and everything is perfect. My in-home test strips show the same, the PH is 7.8 and Alkalinity is about 120~180. All tests have remained stable since about December last year with minor fluctuation of Nitrates. I change 25% (2~3 gallons) of water every week and squeeze out the sponge in old tank water about twice a month.

Edit: Forgot to add... Eyes are clear, gills are clean, no signs of ich or anything. However, something I noticed on Blue which is now showing up on Sapphire (Blue's replacement) is on the very end of his tail fin is a red line which recedes inwards causing a "cave" on the end of his tail. Some of my other fish have really tattered fins, but no red lines like Sapphire. Or maybe it's just more visible on a blue fish?

Last edited by MooCowing; 05-15-2008 at 02:47 AM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Yellow died last night. Ruby's still alive but he has hardly any color besides his tail. I'm pretty certain all of my fish are infected at this point... because I've had so many die in such a short amount of time. Not sure what I should do... My mom had mentioned buying a quarantine tank for the saltwater tanks, so maybe I can talk her into buying one a little early and dropping all my fish in there to medicate them. But then how do I get the parasite out of my main tank without killing my plants? Snails I don't care about, plants I do.

My snail population has exploded again. Not sure if that's a good thing, bad thing, or completely unrelated but I figured it was worth a note.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 11:32 PM
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Before you start using hardcore parasite treatments I would just try treating for bacterial infections in case that's the problem. There are a lot of different medications out there, I would just see what your pet store carries. Add some aquarium salt, too, and change as much of the water as possible.

If it is parasites then unfortunately some of your plants might not respond very well to the treatment (read the bottle's label). I would move them to a separate tank/bowl if you're worried. You'll have to do a bleach dip or something anyway since you don't want to re-introduce the parasite when putting the plants back. If it was me, I would just treat the whole tank and hope for the best. Most plants pull through just fine...what species do you have?

With the red line...it wasn't a worm, was it?




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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2008, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Oh no, it's not a worm. It doesn't move or anything. It's on the end of the fan part... could just be a nick.

My friend just got done treating a fungus in his tank with API's Erythromycin treatment. He gave me 2 packets and said it should treat general Dropsy symptoms, which is what he thinks my fish might have. He said it shouldn't affect my plants because it didn't affect his. I figure I have one of two choices -- let them die, or treat them with Erythromycin (which I was going to buy anyways) and hope for the best. Think it's worth a shot?

By the way, I have no idea what kind of plants I have.... I just know they're really pretty. There's a couple kinds of swords, a log with some little round green things, some java moss, a moss ball, random dark curly plants... everything's growing fine and it's all really dark green =).
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2008, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooCowing View Post
Oh no, it's not a worm. It doesn't move or anything. It's on the end of the fan part... could just be a nick.

My friend just got done treating a fungus in his tank with API's Erythromycin treatment. He gave me 2 packets and said it should treat general Dropsy symptoms, which is what he thinks my fish might have. He said it shouldn't affect my plants because it didn't affect his. I figure I have one of two choices -- let them die, or treat them with Erythromycin (which I was going to buy anyways) and hope for the best. Think it's worth a shot?

By the way, I have no idea what kind of plants I have.... I just know they're really pretty. There's a couple kinds of swords, a log with some little round green things, some java moss, a moss ball, random dark curly plants... everything's growing fine and it's all really dark green =).
A common misconception is that dropsy is an actual disease. In reality, though, it's a symptom. Your fish have dropsy but it's being caused by an underlying problem.

The Erythromycin is definitely worth a shot . I can't say I've had any experience using it myself, though.

Well, if you notice any of the plants starting to look bad then you can always remove them.

Good luck!




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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-17-2008, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Alright.. I'll give it a shot. I'll let you know how it goes in 3 days. Absolute worst case scenario is that they all die and I start over... or I buy a large tank and get angels -- which is what I really wanted.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2008, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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I just wanted to let you know that my guppies are doing great. I lost the little one just before I medicated my tank. I'm down to 4 fish left.. but at least those 4 are thriving. There's no more signs on illness, they're more active, and that "red line" on Sapphire's tail has vanished.

No more guppies for me, I think. So after all my guppies pass away I'll move on to something else -- but hopefully that won't be for a long time.

Sasami, thank you so much for your help. You're wonderful ^_^.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2008, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooCowing View Post
I just wanted to let you know that my guppies are doing great. I lost the little one just before I medicated my tank. I'm down to 4 fish left.. but at least those 4 are thriving. There's no more signs on illness, they're more active, and that "red line" on Sapphire's tail has vanished.

No more guppies for me, I think. So after all my guppies pass away I'll move on to something else -- but hopefully that won't be for a long time.

Sasami, thank you so much for your help. You're wonderful ^_^.
That's great to hear . I'm glad that it wasn't parasites, then. That would be harder to treat for.




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